September 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
Zoo City Apparel, on 139. E. Main, by day sells local designed clothes screen-printed with neat logos and everybody’s favorite area code, 406. By evening, organizers dim the lights and bring all manner of debauched characters and loud guitar noises to its generous space. A former lube ‘n tube joint, now, you can get an entirely different kind of lubricated at Zoo City Apparel’s shows.
All ages, generally BYOB. Cops like to circle the neighborhood, so careful with your open containers. Bonus points if you knit yourself a special 40 koozie to disguise your beverages.
ETA: Zoo City Apparel has since shuttered its doors. The clothing line is still available at stores around Missoula and Montana.
July 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
245 W. Main St. Facebook Page
The VFW is fairly new as a show venue, but feels like a Missoula institution already, between the combination of hosting frequent shows and being a somewhat shabby joint where confused oldsters are usually still hanging out if you get to the show early enough.
The VFW always reminds me of a church basement, with the bingo section, bare vinyl tables, linoleum floor and floral wallpaper in the women’s bathroom. Like a church, people gather here to commune over their faith in things sometimes intangible or silly: in this case, loud music and cheap beer.
Cheap beer. It’s also the place where many people have, to their detriment, discovered Dadcans. Also known as Mancans or King Cans, it’s a 32-oz. can of Miller Hi-Life and it can be yours at the VFW for $3. [ETA: $3.25 now I think. Obama’s America!] You look like a kid holding your dad’s beer because the can is so enormous, ergo, Dadcans. It epitomizes both what’s wrong and what’s awesome about America.
The thing about Dadcans is one must drink them quickly, because they get warm and piss-disgusting real fast, so then you pound a Dadcan and realize you drank the equivalent of two tallboys and probably did some shots, too, ’cause shots are abundant and cheap also. Smarter people buy the 16 oz. Miller cans, at $1.50, but you’re not out at a show to be smarter, are you?
Besides the shows, the VFW’s karaoke won Best In Missoula in the Independent, and I can attest that the Monday open mic night is well-curated and enjoyable.
The great thing about the VFW is it’s affordable, hosts great touring acts, seems to be responsible and honest with paying the bands, and generally full of lovely people. I’m told the veterans keep a stash of guns in there somewhere for ceremonies, too, so I know where I’m holing up in case of the zombie apocalypse.
ABOVE: Bird’s Mile at the VFW on March 31. Photo by Tine Ahlin.
Let me know if you’d like to write a venue profile.